Category Archives: Middle East

Soros Funded McMaster | Aug 07, 2017

McMaster Worked at Think Tank Backed by Soros-Funded Group Central to Helping Push Obama’s Lies About Iran Nuke Deal

|| TGP

 

“Breitbart is now reporting that McMaster worked at a think tank which is backed by a Soro-funded group that helped Obama sell the Iran nuke deal to the public and media. Obama freed 7 Iranians who were threats to U.S. national security as part of his Iran nuclear deal while lying to the American people about it.

McMaster also reportedly blocked Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu from joining President Trump at the Western Wall. In what may be the most striking report yet, McMaster views Israel as an ‘illegitimate, occupying power,’ just like Iran. ”

….Continue reading more @ theGatewayPundit

 

 

 

President Shuts Down CIA Program Funding Al-Queda Supporting Rebels in Syria | July 20, 2017

Report: POTUS Trump Shuts Down CIA Program Arming Syrian Rebels

|| theGatewayPundit

“President Trump is reportedly shutting down the CIA’s program to arm and train Syrian ‘rebels’ who are fighting the Syrian government.

Via The Hill:

President Trump is shutting down the CIA’s program to arm and train rebels fighting the Syrian government, The Washington Post reported Wednesday, a victory for Russia, which has called for the move for years.

Officials told the Post that shutting down the program, begun by the Obama administration in 2013, is a sign of Trump’s attempts to work with Russia, which has viewed the U.S. attempts to force out Syrian President Bashar Assad during that country’s civil war as an attack on its own interests.

The shuttering of the CIA program does not mark the end of U.S. involvement in Syria — Trump signed off in May on a plan to arm the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish rebel group, using Department of Defense funds.

The Post reports that Trump decided to shut down the CIA program last month after meeting with CIA Director Mike Pompeo and national security adviser H.R. McMaster.

Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin struck a deal for a partial cease-fire during their meeting at the Group of 20 summit earlier this month, set for a region of Syria where rebels supported by the CIA are stationed.

As previously reported, the United States and Russia have reached agreement on a cease-fire in southwest Syria, as President Donald Trump held his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G 20 summit, according to the Associated Press.

TGP previously reported on Obama’s egregious funding of Al-Qaeda’s Syrian ‘rebels’ in an article from 2013:

Every day presents more proof that Obama is on the side of the Islamic caliphate to rule the world and destroy Western civilizations which includes Israel and America. Obama is the enemy within.

Obama recently announced he will be giving away another $300 million of our taxpayer money to the al-Qaeda Syrian rebels which now brings the total to $815 million. Proof that these rebels pledge loyalty to al-Qaeda presented by USA Today.

JihadWatch also reported the following:

“Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of” — New York Times, April 28, 2013

Syrian rebels pledge loyalty to al-Qaeda — USA Today, April 11, 2013

Bringing the total to $815 million for the allies of al-Qaeda and proponents of jihad and Sharia. “Obama announces extra $300 million in aid for Syrians, refugees,” by Ian Johnston for NBC News, June 18:

….Continue reading more @ TGP

 

The Obama Secret State: John Brennan Targets Flynn & Hannity for Surveillance | Apr 06, 2017

CIA Director John Brennan Targeted General Flynn and Sean Hannity For Surveillance

| Breitbart

“Yesterday, we reported on a breaking story by GotNews that Sean Hannity and Blackwater founder, Erik Prince were also spied on and unmasked by the Obama administration.

GotNews has just revealed that it was Obama’s CIA Director, John Brennan who was targeting them and other Trump supporters for surveillance.

….Continue reading more @ theGatewayPundit.com

 

 

BREAKING: @BarackObama’s CIA Director John Brennan and His Allies Are Targeting Trump Supporters For Surveillance

| GotNews

“Barack Obama‘s CIA Director John O. Brennan targeted Trump supporters for enhanced surveillance, intelligence sources confirm to GotNews’ Charles C. Johnson.

The surveillance took place between Trump’s election on November 8 and the inauguration in January, according to White House and House intelligence sources.

The focus was on General Mike Flynn, billionaire Erik Prince, and Fox News host Sean Hannity — all of whom had close ties to Trump before and after the November election and had helped the future president with managing his new diplomatic responsibilities.

Hannity was targeted because of his perceived ties to Julian Assange, say our intelligence sources. Hannity was reportedly unmasked by Susan Rice at Brennan’s behest thanks to his close relationship with Trump and Julian Assange.

Blackwater founder Erik Prince, a former CIA covert asset, has long criticized the CIA’s bloat and incompetence, including the Brennan-run CIA drone program’s failure to properly target terrorists rather than Afghan civilians. Prince has repeatedly called for restructuring the CIA and argued against Brennan’s tenure.

He has particularly criticized Brennan’s decision to centralize a lot of decision making among bureaucrats in the Capital Beltway in Langley, Virginia instead of in the field, where the agents are actually spying.

Billionaire monopolist Jeff Bezos’ CIA-affiliated blog The Washington Post alleged a meeting between Erik Prince, the crown price of the United Arab Emirates and an unnamed Russian “close to Putin” nine days before Trump’s inauguration. The meeting was supposedly to establish a back channel of communication.

Left unanswered in the Post’s story was the following: wasn’t Trump supposed to be colluding with the Russians prior to his election? Why would Trump need a back channel nine days before he’s inaugurated?

You won’t hear this stuff from the lying mainstream media. Keep the GotNews mission alive: donate at GotNews.com/donate or send tips to editor@gotnews.com. If you’d like to join our research team, contact editor@gotnews.com.

The motivations for Brennan’s dislike of Flynn date back years. The two had publicly feuded during Flynn’s time as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Flynn was producing intel documents that showed how the supposed Syrian moderates were actually assets of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Brennan also brought in disgraced Syria analyst Elizabeth O’Bagy to brief the CIA. O’Bagy was outed by this reporter for manufacturing her credentials and for being paid by the Syrian rebels. O’Bagy worked for the defense industry funded Institute for the Study of War, a neocon think tank headed by the Kagans, a controversial family which advised David Petraeus. Petraeus was brought down. Intel sources I’ve spoken to believe Brennan was behind his ousting.

Former CIA agent John Kiriakou discussed John Brennan’s “deep-seated hatred of Trump” and decision to make “Russian intervention… the hammer he is going to hit Trump with.” “Flynn has been screwed by the agency in the past and Flynn has had a difficult personal relationship with Brennan,” Kiriakou said in January. “Even though Brennan is gone, the CIA is still being run by Brennan’s people.” Both Flynn and Trump called for reorganizing the CIA–a direct threat to Brennan’s remaking of the CIA.”

….Continue reading more @ GotNews.com

 

 

 

More Than One Obama Official Unmasked Trump Transition Team | Apr 05, 2017

WSJ reports that Susan Rice Was Not Alone In “Unmasking” Team Trump

| ZeroHedge

“As part of its daily wrap of the Susan Rice newsflow, which focused on her first media appearance since she was “outed” as the persona responsible for “unmasking” members of team Trump, the WSJ provides two new pieces of incremental information: i) in addition to Michael Flynn, at least one more member of the Trump transition team was “unmasked” in intelligence reports due to multiple foreign conversations that weren’t related to Russia; and ii) Rice wasn’t the administration official who instigated Mr. Flynn’s unmasking, confirming there is at least one more high-level official giving “unmasking” orders.
But first, a brief detour.

“Unmasking” is a term used when the identity of a U.S. citizen or lawful resident is revealed in classified intelligence reports. Normally, when government officials receive intelligence reports, the names of American citizens are redacted to protect their privacy. But officials can request that names, listed as “U.S. Person 1,” for example, be unmasked internally in order to give context about the potential value of the intelligence. Unmasking is justified for national security reasons but is governed by strict rules across the U.S. intelligence apparatus that make it illegal to pursue for political reasons or to leak classified information generated by the process.

It is the accusation that Rice unmasked members for purely political reasons – ostensibly in coordination with president Obama – that has gotten Republican smelling blood in the water.  Republicans have for weeks signaled that they saw unmasking as the key to investigating the source of media leaks damaging to the Trump administration — such as the exposure of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign in February after media reports revealed that he misled Vice President Pence about the contents of his discussions with the Russian ambassador.

To that end, earlier this month, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) pressed FBI Director James Comey in a public Intelligence Committee hearing: “It would be nice to know the universe of people who have the power to unmask a U.S. citizen’s name… because that might provide something of a roadmap to investigate who might’ve actually disseminated a masked U.S. citizen’s name.”

He went on to press Comey on whether specific Obama officials, including Rice, would have had the authority to request that a name be unmasked. “Yes, in general, and any other national security adviser would, I think, as a matter of their ordinary course of their business,” Comey answered.

Shortly thereafter, The Hill notes Nunes made his shocking announcement that he — and he alone — had viewed documents that showed inappropriate unmasking by Obama-era officials.

Today, Susan Rice came out to defend herself and told MSNBC that “the allegation is that somehow, Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes,” Rice told Mitchell. “That’s absolutely false.”

She added that “The notion, which some people are trying to suggest, that by asking for the identity of the American person is the same is leaking it — that’s completely false. There is no equivalence between so-called unmasking and leaking.”

And yet, that is precisely what many republicans are suggesting because otherwise there is no explanation for how the WaPo and NYT received, on a virtual silver platter, stories about Mike Flynn’s communications with intel-level detail.

Perhaps Rice is simply lying as she lied on March 22 when in a PBS interview she said “I know nothing” about unmasking Trump officials. Less than two weeks later, we learn that she did.

But perhaps there is more to the story than what we know so far.”

…..Continue reading more @ ZeroHedge

 

 

Rice implies that President Obama himself ordered the compilation of intelligence reports on Trump officials.

| Breitbart

“…the president requested the compliation of the intelligence, which was ultimately provided in January [2017].”

On Tuesday afternoon, President Barack Obama’s former National Security Advisor Susan Rice appeared on MSNBC with host Andrea Mitchell to answer questions about allegations that had emerged earlier in the week to suggest that she requested the “unmasking” of the names of Donald Trump’s campaign and transition teams in intelligence reports, which allegedly had nothing to do with national security, and that she had compiled spreadsheets of those names.

Here are the highlights of Mitchell’s interview with Rice, which took up the first quarter-hour of Mitchell’s show.

  1. Rice admitted asking for the names of U.S. citizens in intelligence reports to be “unmasked.” Rice said: “There were occasions when I would receive a report in which a U.S. person was referred to. Name not provided, just U.S. person. And sometimes in that context, in order to understand the importance of the report, and assess its significance, it was necessary to find out, or request, the information as to who that U.S. official was.” Rice argued it was necessary for her and other officials to request that information, on occasion, to “do our jobs” to protect national security.
  2. Rice admitted asking specifically for the names of members of Donald Trump’s transition team. She argued that she had not done so for political purposes, however. Mitchell asked: “Did you seek the names of people involved in — to unmask the names of people involved in the Trump transition, the people surrounding the president-elect in order to spy on them and expose them?” Rice answered: “Absolutely not for any political purposes to spy, expose, anything.”
  3. Rice denied leaking the name of former General Michael Flynn. “I leaked nothing to nobody, and never have, and never would.” She added that to discuss particular targets would be to reveal classified information. She later walked back her denial. Mitchell: “The allegation is that you were leaking the fact that he spoke to the [Russian] ambassador and perhaps to others.” Rice: “I can’t get into any specific reports … what I can say is there is an established process.”
  4. Rice denied reports that she prepared a “spreadsheet” of Trump transition staff under surveillance. Mitchell asked specifically about the Daily Caller story Tuesday: “They allege there was a spreadsheet you put out of all of these names and circulated it.” Rice: “Absolutely false. No spreadsheet, no nothing of the sort.” She said that unmasked names “was not then typically broadly disseminated throughout the national security community or the government.”
  5. Rice said that even if she did request the names of citizens to be unmasked, that did not mean she leaked them.  “The notion … that by asking for the identity of an American person, that is the same as leaking it, is completely false.”
  6. Rice admitted that the pace of intelligence reports accelerated throughout the election. She said she could not say whether the pace of her “unmasking” requests accelerated, but she said there was increasing concern, as well as increasing information, relating to the possibility of Russian interference in the election, particularly after August 2016.
  7. Rice implied that President Obama himself ordered the compilation of intelligence reports on Trump officials. “…the president requested the compliation of the intelligence, which was ultimately provided in January [2017].”
  8. Rice said that she was unaware, even while working with Flynn during the transition, that he was working for the Turkish government. Mitchell asked: “When did you learn that?” Rice answered: “In the press, as everybody else did.” Mitchell, incredulously: “You didn’t know that, when you were National Security Advisor?” Rice: “I did not.”
  9. Rice reiterated that President Obama never tapped Trump’s phone. “Absolutely false … there was no such collection [or] surveillance on Trump Tower or Trump individuals …  directed by the White House or targeted at Trump individuals.” She did not deny that there might have been some surveillance by other agencies, however. She said it was impossible for the White House to order such surveillance, but that the Department of Justice could have done so.
  10. Rice seemed aggrieved by Trump’s claims. “It wasn’t typical of the way presidents treat their predecessors.”
  11. Rice would not say whether she would be willing to testify on Capitol Hill before Congress. “Let’s see what comes. I’m not going to sit here and prejudge,” she said. But she insisted that the investigations into Russian interference in the presidential election were of interest to every American citizen, and should be followed wherever the evidence leads.”

…Continue reading @ Breitbart

Obama Trump Spying Scandal | Why Obama Must Testify | Mar 22, 2017

| Spectator.org

Obama Administration Rushed to Preserve Intelligence of Russian Election Hacking

WASHINGTON — In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government. Former American officials say they had two aims: to ensure that such meddling isn’t duplicated in future American or European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.…

Mr. President: Is this report by the New York Times accurate? Sir, did officials in your White House ever “spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government”?

As the House and Senate investigations start up, with the House Intelligence Committee hearing from FBI Director James Comey today, there is someone missing from the witness list.

That would be: Former President Barack Obama.

There is one person — and one person alone — who can begin to sort all of this out: Former President Obama. He should be called to testify post haste. Here are a sample of the questions for any interested member of Congress or the Senate.

1. Your administration surveilled the e-mails of Fox reporter James Rosen, tried to force New York Times reporter James Risen to testify on his sources  for a book on the CIA. Mr. Risen went so far as to say you were the “Greatest Enemy To Press Freedom In A Generation.” Understanding these facts, why should Americans not believe that your administration used surveillance capabilities on President Trump’s associates or even the President himself? And can you categorically deny that reporting by John Solomon and Sara Carter of circa.com of an investigation by your government into a Trump server  is false?

2. Do you read the New York Times and the Washington Post? Did your White House Communications staff read the Times and the Post and did they supply you with the news of stories as presented by those papers

3. Did you read the New York Times on January 12th of this year? January 19th of this year? January 20th? February 9th? March 1st? Did you read the Washington Post on March 2nd?

4. Were you aware at any time that the news media was reporting multiple stories that your administration had leaked surveillance of anyone connected to the Trump campaign, Trump businesses or other Trump-related activity? If not, why not?

5. The New York Times headlined and reported on March 1st:

Obama Administration Rushed to Preserve Intelligence of Russian Election Hacking

WASHINGTON — In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government. Former American officials say they had two aims: to ensure that such meddling isn’t duplicated in future American or European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.…

Mr. President: Is this report by the New York Times accurate? Sir, did officials in your White House ever “spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government”?

6. Mr. President, at any time did officials of your government seek to “leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators” … intelligence that reported on anyone connected to then candidate or president-elect Donald Trump, his campaign, his businesses or any other Trump-related enterprise?

7. Mr. President, are you willing to voluntarily turn over all papers or electronic communications and phone records of your White House and the larger government then-under your supervision that this committee deems relevant to its investigation?

8. Sir, did your administration surveil in any fashion — electronic, wireless, in-person or otherwise — the activities of Attorney General Jefferson Sessions when he was a sitting United States Senator?

9. Were you or anyone in your White House ever aware that, as per the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, the “FBI, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and Treasury Department” were conducting a “wide-ranging U.S. counterintelligence investigation into possible communications between members of Mr. Trump’s campaign team and Russian operatives.”

10. Mr. President, if the answer to that last question is no — can you explain why the New York Times would report on March 1st that — and I quote:

“In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government. Former American officials say they had two aims: to ensure that such meddling isn’t duplicated in future American or European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.…”

Sir? Respectfully? If this report from the Times is true, does this mean you were uninformed of what went on in your own White House?”

….Continue reading more @ Spectator.org

 

Hawaii Obama Judge Rules Muslim Imam Has Special Constitutional Rights to Bring Anyone from Terror Countries into America

|  Breitbart

“In a ruling issued on Wednesday afternoon, a federal judge, and Obama appointee, prevented the President of the United States from enforcing his own executive order to protect the nation from migrants from terror-riddled countries.

The judge then prevented every other judge and every other state from following the President’s order, the judge making himself a one-man Supreme Court and substitute President.

Attorney Robert Barnes joined SiriusXM host Alex Marlow on Thursday’s Breitbart News Daily to discuss his latest Breitbart News column:

“The Hawaii judge’s decision says he has a First Amendment constitutional right to do so because he’s Muslim. It was one of the most extraordinary interpretations of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment ever given, which is that because these are Muslim countries that were banned where the issue of terror arises from that that meant they had a special right to access the country and visit the country,” he said.

“As long as there is somebody here that wants them here, no president can ever preclude them from coming here. He basically gave First Amendment rights to everybody around the world and gave special preferences to people who are Muslim under his interpretation of the First Amendment,” Barnes summarized.

Barnes noted that the judge did not “cite any prior decision” that has ever established this astonishing new quirk of the Constitution.”

…Continue reading more @ Breitbart

 

FOUR dead – including a policeman and a woman – 20 injured as ‘two terrorists’ mow down people on Westminster Bridge before one is shot dead attacking police inside Parliament gates

| DailyMail UK

Three people and a terrorist are dead after an attacker brought carnage to central London today, mowing down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and hacking at police with knives in the grounds of the Houses of Parliament.

Around 20 people were hit when a 4×4 drove along the pavement on the crowded bridge, knocking down and seriously injuring pedestrians before crashing into a fence below Big Ben.

The killer, described by witnesses as ‘middle-aged and Asian’, then managed to break into the grounds of Parliament, where he fatally stabbed a police officer with two knives.

The policeman died at the scene. The attacker – who was shot at least twice by armed officers guarding the building – died after he was taken to hospital.

Prime Minister Theresa May tonight vowed Britain would ‘never give in to terror’ and ‘defeat hate and evil’ after she blasted the ‘sick and depraved’ attack in Westminster.

She added the ‘forces of evil would never drive Britain apart’ and praised police and security staff who ‘ran towards danger even as they encouraged others to move away’.

It is currently believed he was the only ‘lone wolf’ attacker. Around 20 pedestrians and three other police officers were injured.

Prime Minister Theresa May was bundled into her car by a plain-clothes police officer and driven quickly from the scene as the attack unfolded. She chaired a meeting of the Government’s emergency Cobra Committee tonight.

Scotland Yard said the attack, which comes a year to the day after the atrocities in Brussels, is being treated ‘as a terrorist incident’.

….Continue reading @ Daily Mail UK

 

Critical Defense Data Theft at House Democratic Intelligence Committees By Three Pakistani Muslim Brothers

| Youtube

More here @ Youtube

 

My Hometown Fanatics: Stacey Dooley Investigates Muslim Extremists in UK

– Youtube

Stacey Dooley is an amazing filmmaker. In this documentary she goes back to her hometown of Luton, a suburb of London after just four years away.

 

 

‘Holy Wars Will Soon Begin in Europe’ | Mar 17, 2017

Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu: ‘Holy Wars Will Soon Begin in Europe’

|  theGatewayPundit

“In one of the first reactions from Ankara to the Dutch election result, Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, warned that Europe was heading towards the abyss and that ‘holy wars’ would soon begin on the continent – this coming despite the fact that nationalist Geert Wilders, a vocal critic of Islam, was pushed into second place by the center right Prime Minister, Mark Rutte.

 

Çavuşoğlu, who has been addressing Turkish crowds across Europe ahead of a constitutional referendum in Turkey next month, was refused permission to land in Holland for a campaign rally on Saturday, sparking a heated diplomatic row and street protests which dominated the final days of the Dutch election campaign.

The dramatic war of words, which saw Ankara accuse the Dutch government of ‘fascism’ and of being a ‘Nazi remnant’, has grown in recent days to include other Western European nations which have restricted Turkish political rallies on their soil, most notably Austria and Germany, but also Denmark and Switzerland.

Recent months have seen mass demonstrations and rallies, with seas of red ‘star and crescent’ flags greeting Turkish ministers campaigning in Europe on behalf of their government’s referendum proposal. The sheer size of some rallies has caused unease, highlighting the scale of Europe’s burgeoning foreign populations and offering a glimpse of the continent’s demographic future.

Of the millions of Turks living in Europe, some five million – many of them dual citizens – are eligible to vote in the referendum, set for April 16th, which seeks to significantly increase the powers of authoritarian Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Speaking at a rally east of Istanbul just hours after his foreign minister’s controversial comments, Erdoğan accused the EU of launching an anti-Islamic ‘crusade’ between the Christian cross and the Muslim crescent, referring to Tuesday’s ruling by the EU Court of Justice which would allow employers to prohibit political and religious symbols in the workplace, including the wearing of the Islamic veil.

‘They have commenced a struggle between the cross and crescent. There is no other explanation than this. I am saying this clearly – Europe is heading toward the days just before World War II,’ Erdoğan stated in combative tone.

Following on from comments by his foreign minister earlier this week, Erdoğan again threatened to end the year-old migrant deal signed between the EU and Turkey, which could see millions of migrants flood into Europe from Turkey via Greece and Bulgaria.

Of some six million migrants seeking to enter Europe from countries surrounding the Mediterranean, an estimated three million are currently waiting in Turkey, according to a leaked German intelligence report published last month, a figure Erdoğan is fond of raising in negotiations with the EU.”

….Continue reading @ theGatewayPundit

 

Law |

Campaign Pledges Haunt Trump in Court

| New York Times

Outside the context of Mr. Trump’s two travel bans, few judicial rulings have addressed how much weight courts may put on statements from political candidates. Even informal remarks from sitting government officials are often ignored by courts, which can be reluctant to conduct what the Supreme Court has called “judicial psychoanalysis.”

“In quick succession on Wednesday night, federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland blocked President Trump’s revised travel ban. They said statements Mr. Trump had made as a presidential candidate, including his call for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” helped doom the executive order.

The judges said Mr. Trump’s promises to impose a “Muslim ban” were too telling and categorical to be ignored. “Simply because a decision maker made the statements during a campaign does not wipe them” from judicial memory, wrote Judge Theodore D. Chuang of Federal District Court in Maryland.

Outside the context of Mr. Trump’s two travel bans, few judicial rulings have addressed how much weight courts may put on statements from political candidates. Even informal remarks from sitting government officials are often ignored by courts, which can be reluctant to conduct what the Supreme Court has called “judicial psychoanalysis.”

But decisions about religious discrimination allow courts to consider government officials’ real purposes, even if their stated ones are neutral.

The Supreme Court has said judges may not turn a blind eye to the context in which government policies on religion arose. “Reasonable observers have reasonable memories,” Justice David H. Souter wrote in a leading religion case.

Justice Department lawyers had urged the judges to ignore Mr. Trump’s speeches on the campaign trail. “Candidates are not government actors, and statements of what they might attempt to achieve if elected, which are often simplified and imprecise, are not official acts,” the government said in a brief in the Maryland case. “They generally are made without the benefit of advice from an as-yet-unformed administration, and cannot bind elected officials who later conclude that a different course is warranted.”

The courts had to navigate two bodies of precedents, pointing in different directions. In cases concerning immigration and national security, most decisions suggest that courts should not look behind the stated government rationale.

Courts have only rarely used statements from candidates to judge the constitutionality of government actions. In 2003, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, took account of campaign materials from Chief Justice Roy S. Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court to judge his actions concerning a Ten Commandments monument in his courthouse.

In the context of immigration and efforts to combat terror, the Supreme Court has been reluctant to look behind official actions to root out authentic motives. In 2006, in a case concerning detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, Justice John Paul Stevens criticized a dissenting justice for relying on “press statements” from sitting Defense Department officials. “We have not heretofore, in evaluating the legality of executive action, deferred to comments made by such officials to the media,” Justice Stevens wrote. If even statements from government officials are out of bounds, it would follow that statement from political candidates should carry no weight.

In a 1972 immigration case concerning a Marxist scholar denied a visa, the Supreme Court similarly said it would not “look behind” the government’s “facially legitimate and bona fide reason.”

….Continue reading more @ NY Times